On the midway point of winter we visited some lambs. This day, called Groundhog's Day (now) was called "Imbolc," meaning "ewe's milk" because the lambs are born around February 2nd. We are fortunate to have friends who are homesteading: raising cows, sheep, a pig or two, several chickens, and growing food and grain to feed the lot. They use draft horses to do field work; they installed a wood-burning cook stove. They are like the Amish but without the religious-, techological-, and cultural isolation.
Here's my girl holding a lamb:
I love the fuzzy "holy" light from the stable window. If you're a geek for sheep, here's some more:
For hands-on history, Madelyn made a paper mache "Grecian" jug.
It took several days (between the start and getting around to finishing) but was a lot of gooey, gluey fun to dunk paper strips and smear Elmer's with our fingers.
Once it was dry, she launched into her own design. This won't be in any Greek art history books:
It won't be in any atlas, either. She freestyle-designed the continents, making sure to point out "Hawaii" and "Japan." I did not correct her--not a whisper. She loved making it. Accuracy is not always the point.
For less elaboration, we'll turn to Nate's project. He did a "shield" with Medusa's head. On a pizza box lid. Minus two snakes (seven seemed excessive to him). Without color. He's my minimalist in all things except details pertaining to Pokemon.
We're using the white board to illustrate the main plot points of The Illiad. Truly, I am remembering the story better with the visuals. (This is my first time reading it, too: ah-hem, public schools.) Here's our second story board so far:
Madelyn and I co-illustrated this one. Here's a close-up of her depiction of Ajax and Hector fighting all day until nightfall and parting with mutual admiration until the next day, when battle could resume:
On a rare night with no obligations, we went--where else?--to the library. Nate brought a cookbook around to me and asked if we might check it out.
Here I am--
containing the urge to go bug-eyed, gushy with praise, or jump up and down with excitement that my son (a) picked out a book without prompting and (b) it's a cookbook
-- looking at the stacks with a level gaze and muttering "Mm-hmm." [Inaudible squealing inside my head].
It's a cookbook of junk food, but at least it's a cookbook. It's a glimmer of self-directed interest that does not entail Japanese animation or leveling-up anything. It's something I can understand!
We went to Meijer for the ingredients (lots of stuff with sugar: pudding, marshmallows, graham crackers, jelly). They ate a healthy dinner (my low-carb vegetable soup) and commenced the making. This is similar to the evidence I left behind as a novice cook some (throat clear) twenty-eight years ago.
|Appliances left to find their own way back to the cupboard.|
|Tell-tale box mix --sure sign of a "newb" (that's slang for novice).|